Well I wanted to write an article about the guys that might be on the San Diego Padres radar, and one of the guys I wrote about definitely was. Pitcher Austin Smith was ranked near 51st by mlb.com, but many scouts had him as a first round talent. Therefore San Diego was pretty excited when he dropped down to 51, and jumped at the chance to use their top pick on him. Smith is an athletic pitcher with “easy” velocity and the chance to become a middle of the rotation starter at the big league level. Here’s my Padres draft preview, Smith being the 2nd guy I wrote about.
And here’s some info on several of the top guys.
Jacob Nix, RHP, 86th overall pick.
With their 2nd pick in the draft the Padres went pitcher again with Jacob Nix. Nix was picked in round 5 by the Astros in 2014, but because of weird MLB rules the Astros would have lost out on future picks had they signed Nix after not signing their top pick in 2014, Brady Aiken. Nix filed a grievance and settled with the Astros for an undisclosed amount. If you’re curious, you can read more about that here.
After not getting into pro ball last season Nix he went to play at IMG Academy, biding his time until he could be drafted again. More on that here.
Anyway, this season Nix was picked in the 3rd round by San Diego. According to mlb.com his curveball and delivery have improved over the last year, and they even ranked him as the 39th best draft prospect this year. Getting him at 86 overall certainly seems like good value for the Padres. He’s a big guy with a plus fastball and average off speed stuff and control. His curveball is inconsistent, but flashes plus, and he can have trouble with his release point which causes control issues. He won’t pitch at Petco anytime soon, but if he gains consistency with his curveball and release point he profiles as a middle of the rotation starter, potentially better, once he does.
Austin Allen, C, 117th overall pick
In round 4 the Padres found another good value pick in Austin Allen, a left handed hitting catcher with a lot of 50 grades according to mlb.com’s prospect watch. His bat, power and arm project to be average, while he projects to be a little below average defensively.
He might be able to stay at catcher if he can improve defensively, while if he improves offensively he could turn into a decent first baseman. Based on his tool grades he seems to me to be like a hybrid between Yonder Alonso and Derek Norris. Both Alonso and Norris are late bloomers having breakout seasons this year and Allen could be that type of player. Like Nix, he’ll take some time to make it to the big leagues, but has a reasonable ceiling of being a solid contributor at the major league level. Catchers with defensive and offensive potential are rare, so even though Allen probably won’t be a superstar, he could turn out to be very valuable.
Here’s where I found info on several of the following guys.
Josh Magee, CF, 147th overall pick
He hit .529 his senior season of high school with 10 doubles, 6 triples and 29 stolen bases. Based on that he seems like a speedster with doubles power at best and a decent bat. He is committed to play college ball at Southern Miss, but the Padres wouldn’t have taken him so early if they didn’t think they could sign him.
Jordan Guerrero, RHP, 177th overall pick
Was a relief pitcher at Polk State this past season with 28 K’s in 22 IP and only gave up 4 ER’s. He started one game so maybe the Padres will try to stretch him out. Probably a future reliever though
Trevor Megill, RHP, 207th overall pick & Colton Howell, RHP, 807th overall pick
Jim Callis talks about both of them here.
Trevor Megill, is 6’8” with better feel and less power than you’d think, given his size. Colton Howell apparently has a fastball/ three-quarter breaking pitch combo that could make him a solid reliever pitcher.
Aldemar Burgos, OF, 237th overall
Can’t find much about him. Jeff Ellis on scout.com mentioned that the guys the Padres took in rounds 5-10 could be “either signability picks or boom or bust picks, as most people didn’t know much about some of the players they took. Meaning it could be AJ Preller, super GM, or just a bust pick.”
That AJ Preller super GM pick could be Burgos, an 18 year old from Puerto Rico. Here’s a 2 and a half minute video of him running, fielding and taking batting practice . He looks like an AJ Preller guy, although he doesn’t really look like a masher, maybe more of a 5 tool prospect? This kid could be anything really, but if Preller likes him, I like him.
Jerry Keel, LHP, 267th overall pick
Pitched 370.1 innings over four years at Cal State Northridge,which is a school record. This past season he had a 2.66 ERA, 80 K’s, and 22 BB’s in 91.1 innings pitched. Based on those stats he looks like a guy that will pitch to contact and eat a lot of innings. Not really a big strikeout guy, probably profiling as a back end of the rotation or long relief pitcher.
Justin Pacchioli, CF, 297th overall pick
Lehigh University’s all time leader in stolen bases, he hit .342 last season with 8 doubles, 3 triples and 31 steals as a senior this past season. Looks like a potential top of the lineup hitter with enough speed to stay in centerfield.
All in all it seems like the Padres drafted well. No “wow” guys, but there weren’t many of those in this draft anyway. Considering how depleted the Padres farm is after all the offseason trades, several of these guys could be high up Padres prospect ranking lists next season.